Best cold weather semi-auto?

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Best cold weather semi-auto?

Postby h2ofowlr » Sun Dec 08, 2013 9:47 pm

I was currious to see what the best auto loader might be for cold weather? Most of my buddies all go to O/U when bellow zero. Anyone have a very reliable auto loader. Temp range would be -10 Fat worst for my hunting.
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Best cold weather semi-auto?

Postby Nelliboy2 » Sun Dec 08, 2013 10:35 pm

I personally think it has to do more with the lube/oil you use with your guns in those temps.

For example running my sbe2 dry for the first season resulted in me having a single shot and just about sold it. I started using hoppes elite oils on the bolt and slides and haven't had a problem. Now im playing around with this frog lube. So far I have hunted in 5 degree weather on the Great Lakes and she cycled as if she was in room temp.

I'll be able to put it through the ringer over the next month as I'll will be able to hunt everyday.


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Last edited by Nelliboy2 on Mon Dec 09, 2013 8:07 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Best cold weather semi-auto?

Postby Hat Flats » Sun Dec 08, 2013 11:22 pm

Like Nelliboy said it has more to do with the way you maintain your gun than anything.

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Re: Best cold weather semi-auto?

Postby copterdoc » Sun Dec 08, 2013 11:57 pm

There's lots of 2.75" and 3" guns that will fill the bill.

However, the FN made Browning/Winchester shotguns are probably the only 3.5" shotguns that are consistently reliable in sub zero temps.
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Re: Best cold weather semi-auto?

Postby orphanedcowboy » Mon Dec 09, 2013 8:37 am

Like Nelliboy said, it is a lube issue versus brand issue. Most if not all current production models will be just as reliable in cold weather as in warmer conditions, it really boils down to the maintenance procedure and what lube you are using.

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Re: Best cold weather semi-auto?

Postby jpari » Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:59 am

copterdoc wrote:There's lots of 2.75" and 3" guns that will fill the bill.

However, the FN made Browning/Winchester shotguns are probably the only 3.5" shotguns that are consistently reliable in sub zero temps.

What testing procedure did you use and what was the size of your sample to make this determination?
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Re: Best cold weather semi-auto?

Postby The Drake » Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:19 pm

copterdoc wrote:There's lots of 2.75" and 3" guns that will fill the bill.

However, the FN made Browning/Winchester shotguns are probably the only 3.5" shotguns that are consistently reliable in sub zero temps.


Tell that to my Versamax that is flawless in 2 seasons of Wis weather
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Re: Best cold weather semi-auto?

Postby copterdoc » Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:56 pm

jpari wrote:
copterdoc wrote:There's lots of 2.75" and 3" guns that will fill the bill.

However, the FN made Browning/Winchester shotguns are probably the only 3.5" shotguns that are consistently reliable in sub zero temps.

What testing procedure did you use and what was the size of your sample to make this determination?
Oh it was in-depth and widespread. All at the same time.

It's called hunting with other people late-season in the Midwest, and reading threads and posts made by people that hunt late-season in the Midwest.

Nobody likes to admit that their gun didn't work right.
When you witness it happen to somebody else, or read firsthand complaints of issues with their own toys, you can trust that.
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Re: Best cold weather semi-auto?

Postby copterdoc » Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:10 pm

And if your choice of lubricant makes the difference in whether or not your gun works, it's not the fault of the damn lube!

Reliable performance, is reliable performance. Whether the lube has higher viscosity when cold, or it's bone dry.

Guns don't quit working in the cold, because the lube got thick.

They quit working in the cold, because the cold temperature changed the tolerances between critical associated parts. And the design of the gun, was unforgiving of those changes in tolerance.
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Re: Best cold weather semi-auto?

Postby dukhntr » Mon Dec 09, 2013 8:00 pm

definitely a lube issue. I hunted my Beretta AL391 this weekend while my 2 buddies shot my SBE and my SX3. All performed perfectly and it was 4 degrees out. Breakfree is what I use.
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Re: Best cold weather semi-auto?

Postby h2ofowlr » Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:05 pm

If part of it is maintenance and lube? What type do you use for your shotgun? Frog lube, M-Pro 7, Kroil Oil?
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Re: Best cold weather semi-auto?

Postby Nelliboy2 » Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:06 pm

Hoppes elite oil I know works first hand I have used that for about 4 years without a problem. A little on the slide and on the bolt and your good.

I recently started using frog lube and so far so good this season. Ask me that question once I get back from 0 degree Salt Lake City in a couple weeks.


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Re: Best cold weather semi-auto?

Postby Hat Flats » Tue Dec 10, 2013 12:32 am

copterdoc wrote:And if your choice of lubricant makes the difference in whether or not your gun works, it's not the fault of the damn lube!

Reliable performance, is reliable performance. Whether the lube has higher viscosity when cold, or it's bone dry.

Guns don't quit working in the cold, because the lube got thick.

They quit working in the cold, because the cold temperature changed the tolerances between critical associated parts. And the design of the gun, was unforgiving of those changes in tolerance.


Wrong... :eek:

But what would I know I'm just a silly engineer from Sunny Warm Alaska.

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Re: Best cold weather semi-auto?

Postby TopWop » Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:59 am

Well I'll stay with my old Beretta Silver Mallard for extreme cold weather.
It's above and beyond anything I've shot or have seen other than O/U's.
My Dad borrowed it quite a while back for a N Dakota late season
pheasant hunt, everyday below zero. My Dad was the only one out of
the whole group whose gun didn't freeze. I assure you it wasn't because
it was well maintained either.
My A400 with less than 200 shells through it froze up in 5 degree weather.
I've yet to shoot a 3.5" through it.
Hindsight being 20/20. For MY NEEDS, I should have looked at the A300 Outlander.
It appears to be a newer version of my old Beretta. I researched the A400 for months
and talked myself into it(over the extrema II) Since I will never need a 3.5" gun I
think I will look into the A300. We'll see, plenty of cold weather ahead.
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Re: Best cold weather semi-auto?

Postby BT Justice » Tue Dec 10, 2013 5:20 am

Hat Flats wrote:
copterdoc wrote:And if your choice of lubricant makes the difference in whether or not your gun works, it's not the fault of the damn lube!

Reliable performance, is reliable performance. Whether the lube has higher viscosity when cold, or it's bone dry.

Guns don't quit working in the cold, because the lube got thick.

They quit working in the cold, because the cold temperature changed the tolerances between critical associated parts. And the design of the gun, was unforgiving of those changes in tolerance.


Wrong... :eek:

But what would I know I'm just a silly engineer from Sunny Warm Alaska.

Kurt

:lol3: :lol3: :lol3:
I agree....
It has little to do with your gun
It has little to do with the lube you use, except for a very small percentage of the gun lubes out there, most of them are made from near exact same ingredients.
When the weather gets that cold it's your ammunition, hands down. Likewise when the temperature/humidity is extremely high.
Our military found this out in Vietnam blaming the failures on the M-16, further study showed it was the ammunition and how it was manufactured.
The Russian military found this out years ago, they are experts at producing cold weather ammo. Also why they still use Berdan priming in many of their military loads, they found out through extensive testing Berdan primed ammo gives better ignition in sub zero temperatures.
Here's a hint.. Stay away from Kent ammo in extremely cold temperatures, I'm sure one of the EXPERTS on here will say they have had nothing but good luck with Kent ammo in cold weather, but it's unreliable in the extreme cold.
Federal ammo, because they use a very hot primer, is usually reliable in the extreme cold
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Re: Best cold weather semi-auto?

Postby skaneat » Tue Dec 10, 2013 12:00 pm

Any auto loader that fits you in cold weather is what you bring. I personnally use an Xtrema, but in cold freezing weather, I always have a back-up, and 870 pump, in the boat. I can't tell you how many times that a wet dog shaking in the boat has frozen up a fowling piece or two ending someones hunt!
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Re: Best cold weather semi-auto?

Postby mudpack » Tue Dec 10, 2013 7:00 pm

copterdoc wrote:Guns don't quit working in the cold, because the lube got thick.

They quit working in the cold, because the cold temperature changed the tolerances between critical associated parts. And the design of the gun, was unforgiving of those changes in tolerance.



Sorry, doc. I must disagree.
As a retired engineer with metallurgical background, I can tell you that tolerances are not changed by temperature changes. I believe you meant to say "clearances" instead of "tolerances".
Now, a temperature change of 80 degrees....from 80 degrees F to 0 (zero) degrees F.... might cause a steel part to shrink one thousandth of an inch, depending on its size. Most critical steel parts in a gun will shrink far less, because they are so small.
When typical manufacturing tolerances are usually +/- one or two thousanths, and typical manufacturing clearances (clearance and tolerance are NOT the same thing) on a gun are probably twice that, one thousandth of an inch is not enough to affect the functionality of the gun. The designers have accounted for this.

For example: a steel part with a dimension of 1.5" will, in going from 80 degrees to zero degrees, change 0.000864".
And, keep in mind, ALL the steel parts will be changing at the same time.
Aluminum's CE is slightly greater, which means an aluminum part with a dimension of 1.5" will change 0.000696" more than the steel's. That's only 7/10,000" difference, not enough to affect function. This in a gun with both steel and aluminum components.

It's the lube.... the type and/or the amount. :thumbsup: (Plus, to a lesser degree, the cleanliness of the working parts.)
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Re: Best cold weather semi-auto?

Postby cluckmeister » Tue Dec 10, 2013 7:31 pm

mudpack wrote:
copterdoc wrote:Guns don't quit working in the cold, because the lube got thick.

They quit working in the cold, because the cold temperature changed the tolerances between critical associated parts. And the design of the gun, was unforgiving of those changes in tolerance.



Sorry, doc. I must disagree.
As a retired engineer with metallurgical background, I can tell you that tolerances are not changed by temperature changes. I believe you meant to say "clearances" instead of "tolerances".
Now, a temperature change of 80 degrees....from 80 degrees F to 0 (zero) degrees F.... might cause a steel part to shrink one thousandth of an inch, depending on its size. Most critical steel parts in a gun will shrink far less, because they are so small.
When typical manufacturing tolerances are usually +/- one or two thousanths, and typical manufacturing clearances (clearance and tolerance are NOT the same thing) on a gun are probably twice that, one thousandth of an inch is not enough to affect the functionality of the gun. The designers have accounted for this.


For example: a steel part with a dimension of 1.5" will, in going from 80 degrees to zero degrees, change 0.000864".
And, keep in mind, ALL the steel parts will be changing at the same time.
Aluminum's CE is slightly greater, which means an aluminum part with a dimension of 1.5" will change 0.000696" more than the steel's. That's only 7/10,000" difference, not enough to affect function. This in a gun with both steel and aluminum components.

It's the lube.... the type and/or the amount. :thumbsup: (Plus, to a lesser degree, the cleanliness of the working parts.)




as a Aeronautical Quality Control Representative in the Experimental Machine Arena, I fully concur, in a firearm .001 wont change things a bit, besides todays guns have more stamped parts in them than guns of old and their truly machined parts
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Re: Best cold weather semi-auto?

Postby winchester1852 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 8:06 pm

my sbe2 worked well on -8 on sunday i used slip 2000 ewl for lube. i also somehow managed to get a black barry vine in the receiver and some thorns it still shot fine. don't know how the hell they got in there but glad i cleaned my gun.
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Re: Best cold weather semi-auto?

Postby BT Justice » Thu Dec 12, 2013 5:43 am

cluckmeister wrote:
mudpack wrote:
copterdoc wrote:Guns don't quit working in the cold, because the lube got thick.

They quit working in the cold, because the cold temperature changed the tolerances between critical associated parts. And the design of the gun, was unforgiving of those changes in tolerance.



Sorry, doc. I must disagree.
As a retired engineer with metallurgical background, I can tell you that tolerances are not changed by temperature changes. I believe you meant to say "clearances" instead of "tolerances".
Now, a temperature change of 80 degrees....from 80 degrees F to 0 (zero) degrees F.... might cause a steel part to shrink one thousandth of an inch, depending on its size. Most critical steel parts in a gun will shrink far less, because they are so small.
When typical manufacturing tolerances are usually +/- one or two thousanths, and typical manufacturing clearances (clearance and tolerance are NOT the same thing) on a gun are probably twice that, one thousandth of an inch is not enough to affect the functionality of the gun. The designers have accounted for this.


For example: a steel part with a dimension of 1.5" will, in going from 80 degrees to zero degrees, change 0.000864".
And, keep in mind, ALL the steel parts will be changing at the same time.
Aluminum's CE is slightly greater, which means an aluminum part with a dimension of 1.5" will change 0.000696" more than the steel's. That's only 7/10,000" difference, not enough to affect function. This in a gun with both steel and aluminum components.

It's the lube.... the type and/or the amount. :thumbsup: (Plus, to a lesser degree, the cleanliness of the working parts.)




as a Aeronautical Quality Control Representative in the Experimental Machine Arena, I fully concur, in a firearm .001 wont change things a bit, besides todays guns have more stamped parts in them than guns of old and their truly machined parts

So what you guys are stating is because you have engineering degrees you have more knowledge and experience on this subject than the hundreds of scientists, engineers and ballisticians that do weapons development for both our military and the Russian military.
I'm impressed.................. :lol3: :lol3: :lol3:
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Re: Best cold weather semi-auto?

Postby 007 » Thu Dec 12, 2013 7:15 am

I tend to shoot my 390 dry, zero oil in the action, year-round.
After a few shots, isn't the oil pretty much gone/converted to carbon anyway?
Anyone else subscribe to this theory?

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Re: Best cold weather semi-auto?

Postby mudpack » Thu Dec 12, 2013 7:43 am

BT Justice wrote:So what you guys are stating is because you have engineering degrees you have more knowledge and experience on this subject than the hundreds of scientists, engineers and ballisticians that do weapons development for both our military and the Russian military.I'm impressed..................


Want to be even more impressed? Ask those hundreds of "scientists and engineers" (forget the ballisticians, they don't design guns) if they agree with me and cluck'. Then, you'll REALLY be impressed..... :thumbsup:

Now, since you want to get argumentative:
If ammo were the only reason for poor cold-weather functioning of shotguns, then how come my Gold will function as a single shot one day when it's dirty and the temps are in the single digits....then the next day, after a thorough cleaning and proper lubing, will function perfectly even though it's even colder? Exact same ammo, even from the same box. :huh:

Perhaps the AR-16 worked that way in the frozen rice paddies of Vietnam (really??), but my shotgun does not seem to care what ammo it's shooting, or how cold it is.......it cares only that it is clean and properly lubed. YRMV
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Re: Best cold weather semi-auto?

Postby cluckmeister » Thu Dec 12, 2013 11:49 am

So what you guys are stating is because you have engineering degrees you have more knowledge and experience on this subject than the hundreds of scientists, engineers and ballisticians that do weapons development for both our military and the Russian military.
I'm impressed..................

No what Im saying is parts made from Metallic Materials don't change size, either to heat or cold to the extreme of making something non functional in the temperatures we are talking about, 110 degree summer or 0 degree winter. If they did how would an aircraft engine sitting on a tarmac measuring 150 degrees, immediately fly to 38,000 feet and -30 degrees ever function. Materials just don't change size that easily. Hell, I've never heard of a hot weather gun and cold weather gun, have you? Petroleum products change viscosity with temperatures, hence multi weight motor oil for one. Before the multi weights came along a person in the Midwest would change weights of his oil in the summer and winter in his car. Why because the heavier weights got thick in cold weather. so, the thinner the lube one uses on a gun the less chance of mal function, also using it sparingly is the key.

As for Kent shells Ive shot them thru a Winchester Super X Model 1 and Remington 1100 in 0 degree weather with no mal functions. Im not a Kent fan or any specific brand fan , I buy whats the cheapest and or on sale also with out any issues.

BTW those Firearm Engineers and Scientists you mention. They all have basically the same Materials and Process Degree or Bachelor of Engineering degree as does anyone in the Industrial Manufacturing Arena.


Also as for the M16 in Nam, There were a number of serious problems encountered during initial fielding. Initially, the rifle was the target of criticism because it would unexpectedly stop firing. The fussy M16s responded poorly to wet, dirty field conditions, and often jammed during combat, resulting in numerous casualties. Keeping the gun clean in the field in Vietnam was difficult. Modifications and a late 1966 redesign were made on the weapon, along with an effort to train the troops in its care and cleaning. The reliability of the M16 significantly improved. It proved particularly valuable in the close jungle firefights experienced during the Vietnam War. As a result of better training, preventive maintenance, and several design changes, the weapon that has become the standard issue rifle of the U.S. Army

Im old enough to remember those days also
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Re: Best cold weather semi-auto?

Postby buckmeister » Thu Dec 12, 2013 10:22 pm

I think there are a few WWII German officers that would have a good laugh about anyone that thinks proper lubrication in the cold wont affect weapons and machinery, especially those that fought in Russia. :yes:
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Re: Best cold weather semi-auto?

Postby cluckmeister » Thu Dec 12, 2013 11:03 pm

with 3 seconds of web searching I found this in regard to lubrication and firearms:


D-2. Factors Affecting Weapons

* a. Sluggishness. A common problem is the sluggishness of the operation of the weapons in extreme cold. Normal lubricants thicken in low temperature and stoppage or sluggish action of firearms results. During the winter, weapons must be stripped completely and cleaned with a drycleaning solvent to remove all lubricants and rust prevention compounds. The prescribed application of lubrication oil, weapons (LAW or Lubricant, Semi-Fluid, MIL-L-46000(LSA)) should then be made. These lubricants will provide proper lubrication during the winter and help minimize snow and ice from freezing on the weapons.
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